Graduate Certificate of Arts (Writing) - 2017

The 2018 course information for this course is now available. View 2018 course details.

Course summary

Course summary - 2017

Level: Postgraduate
Qualification: Graduate Certificate
Number of units: 4 units to complete

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Restrictions apply. See Eligibility.

This course has restricted enrolment. You must apply and be accepted before you can enrol in units.

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Operating Hours

Standard hours

Mon - Fri: 8am - late

Sat & Sun: 9am - 5pm

All times in Australian Eastern
Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

The rapid pace of change in the ways in which information is accessed, utilised and converted into knowledge means that there is a growing need for graduates with both traditional and electronic professional and creative writing skills. The Masters of Arts (Writing) course draws together print and performance-based texts, while exploring the local and global opportunities of electronic media. These areas include: creative writing, electronic writing; information management; eCommunications and writing for learning technologies. These programs will give students access to the best materials in print and online as well as to experts in their field. Students will be supported by online mentors and tutors.

Students can exit the course after 4 units and receive the Graduate Certificate, after 8 units to receive the Graduate Diploma or after 12 units for the Master.

The Writing course provides students with the opportunity to develop:

  • A deep understanding of a range of writing genres
  • An ability to make links between developments and opportunities across diverse writing environments
  • An ability to connect writing theory and writing practice
  • A knowledge of trends in writing, media and new practices
  • Communications skills within professional and creative areas
  • Creative capacities related to all forms and genres of writing

Graduate of the Graduate Certificate of Arts (Writing) will be able to:

  1. Apply cognitive skills to review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise knowledge of writing theory and practice and identify and provide solutions to complex problems related to the construction and interpretation of writing related texts, and to think critically to generate and evaluate complex ideas about one’s own writing and the writing of others.
  2. Apply specialised technical and creative s ills needed to generatei ndustry ready texts and to review and think critically about the writing of self and others
  3. Use communication skills to demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical concepts related to writing and criticism needed to transfer complex knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences of creative works.
  4. Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills to make high level, independent judgements in a range of technical or management functions specific to creative practice in varieds pecialised contexts related to writing.
  5. Initiate, plan, implement and evaluate how both the broad and specific functions of writing and critique can be executed and maintained within  varied specialised technical and/or creative contexts
  6. Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for writing-related personal outputs and aspects of working with others within broadparameters, including through the development of sustainable and independent writing practices.

A recognised bachelor degree in any of the fields of: creative arts, society and culture, education, health, and management and commerce.

Special entry is available through Recognition of Prior Learning, appropriate TAFE programs and/or relevant experience in publishing or writing related industries for at least four years

International Applicants - English Language Requirements
International applicants are also required to demonstrate proficiency in English with one of the following:

  • Swinburne College English for Academic Purposes Certificate: EAP 5 Advanced: 70%
  • Obtaining a minimum IELTS overall band of 6.5 (Academic Module) with no individual band below 6.0
  • TOEFL (Paper-based) minimum score of 550 (with Test of Written English (TWE) score of 5)
  • TOEFL (Internet-based) minimum score of 79, with no individual band below 18.

The following units have been withdrawn from the course:

  • LPW502 Research to Publication
  • LPW701A Publication Folio Part A
  • LPW701B Publication Folio Part B
  • LPW700 The Writerly Self
  • LPW703 Electronic Writing

Students who have completed any of these units should contact the course coordinator for advice before enrolling in any of the new equivalent units listed below.

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne units that you have already passed.

Absent Without Leave and Leave of Absence: How to apply for an approved leave of absence and minimise the risk of having to reapply for degree admission:

To qualify for a Graduate Certificate of Arts (Writing), a student must complete 4 units (50 credit points). A unit of study can only be counted once.

Please note: You cannot re-enrol into Swinburne units that you have already passed.

The media used to teach these units are all supplied on line. Online, students will use resources such as weblinks, uploaded readings, written lectures, video supplements to lectures and discussion forums with students and tutors.

As this course is taught online, students will need easy and frequent access to a computer with the internet and email.

Total number of units to complete: 4 units Required Elective Optional
Unit name Code Provider Availability
Critical Friends: The Real and Virtual Support of Writers
PWR60001 SWI SP1 - SP3 -
Real Life Writing
PWR60002 SWI SP1 - SP3 -
Research for Writers
PWR60003 SWI SP1 - SP3 -
PWR60004 SWI SP1 - SP3 -

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. For further details for students considering Higher Education courses visit the RPL website:

Credit Transfer

Applicants with prior tertiary studies that satisfy part of the academic requirements of this course may be granted ‘credit’ and/or entry into the course with ‘advanced standing’. University policies apply and applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For further information please refer to

You can pay fees in one of two main ways:

Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.

Who can access it?

  • Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
  • Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
  • Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study

Find out more about FEE-HELP

You can pay your fees upfront - in full at the beginning of a unit - using:
  • Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
  • Cheque
  • Money order

You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387
Melbourne 3001

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